Dr Adam Boddison takes over as Chair of Whole School SEND

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Adam Boddison as Director of Whole School SEND! 

As we approach our third calendar year we are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Adam Boddison as Chair of Whole School SEND. We would like to thank our previous Chair Anita Kerwin-Nye for her hard work over the past two years.

Adam is Chief Executive of nasen, the National Association of Special Educational Needs. Nasen are a key strategic partner within Whole School SEND and Adam has sat on the Whole School SEND steering group since its foundation.

Adam is also a Fellow of the RSA and he continues to support schools and MATs directly through his work as a Trustee and as a National Leader of Governance for the National College of Teaching and Leadership. 

In addition to teaching at both primary and secondary schools, Adam’s previous roles include Director of the Centre for Professional Education (CPE) at the University of Warwick and Academic Principal for the global educational social network: IGGY.  He is also the author of several maths books, including the Maths behind the Magic

Below you can read a short interview with Adam, looking at his experiences so far and his hopes for the future.


What made you want to work in SEND?

I have worked in many different roles within education and the driving force for me has always been to support all children and young people to reach their full potential.  Whilst leading the University of Warwick’s teacher education programmes, I became more acutely aware of the challenges facing learners with SEND and the of the opportunities to make a difference. At nasen, I am fortunate to be in a position where I can support the SEND community at a national level and I hope we are making a difference to the lives of individual learners with SEND. 


What have been your Whole School SEND highlights so far?

What I have most enjoyed about Whole School SEND is the extent to which it is further bringing the sector together, from schools and MATs to businesses and third sector organisations.  At one of the recent conferences hosted by the consortium, Malcom Reeve said in his presentation ‘In partnership, there is strength’ and that is certainly the ethos of Whole School SEND. 

Another highlight was the Whole School SEND event at Speakers House within the House of Commons where both current and previous Education Secretaries attended to hear more about our work.  The publications and tools, including the SEND Review, have been incredibly popular and there have been thousands of downloads from right across the country.  However, the thing I have enjoyed most is working with other people in the consortium and across the SEND community.  Their commitment, passion and integrity is unparalleled and I would like to thank all of them for what they do day in and day out.


What are your hopes for the sector and aims for Whole School SEND going forward?

As the Whole School SEND Consortium enters its next phase, we want to build on the successes so far and develop a five-year strategy to move us forwards.  Part of that strategy is about identifying where things are working well and looking at how we can support replicating and scaling that in a sustainable way, whilst also being mindful that there is no one solution that will work in every case. 

However, I would say that our biggest challenge is to raise the profile of SEND and to make the case more strongly for supporting and including learners with SEND.  There is a real risk that SEND slips down the priority list, but I would like to ensure that it remains prominent in the hearts and minds of all who work in and lead our schools.  In the same way that pupil premium is seen as a high priority in every school, I believe we need to achieve that for SEND too.  I’d like Whole School SEND and nasen to be part of moving the sector forward so that society understands both the moral and economic arguments for investing properly in learners with SEND.


Do you have any favourite memories from education?

Whilst watching the film, Nativity 2, over the Christmas holiday with my own children, I remembered that one of the children I used to teach was in the film.  When I taught Jessica, she was in year 1 and she was already interested in music and drama.  In fact, it was her who convinced me that we needed a High School Musical singing club, which I ran at lunchtimes leading to an assembly performance, which I think I enjoyed as much as the children.  I am hoping that one day I might receive an invitation to see Jessica perform in the West End when she makes it big time…


Adam tweets @AdamBoddison. You can find out more about his work at http://adamboddison.com/

Whole School SEND